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Dingell Addresses Autonomous Vehicle Summit, Discusses Advancement of Self-driving Vehicle Legislation

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today joined the 2017 Autonomous Vehicle Summit in Detroit to discuss the future of mobility and automated vehicle legislation she is working to advance through the House of Representatives. In July, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously to approve the SELF DRIVE Act which supports the development and deployment of automated vehicles.

“Driverless technology is going to be developed whether we like it or not, and the question before us is whether the United States is going to be the international leader in this area,” said Dingell. “It is critical that we have a strong, flexible regulatory framework for automated vehicles that protects consumers and puts safety first, but also keeps up with the pace of rapidly changing technology. Here in Michigan we’ve been working long and hard to launch the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, and know that enacting federal legislation like the SELF DRIVE Act is imperative to reshaping American innovation for generations to come and ensuring the U.S. remains at the forefront of advanced vehicle technology.” 

Dingell was joined by Allison Drutchas, Autonomous Vehicles Counsel at General Motors, for a conversation about how the SELF DRIVE Act addresses automated vehicle testing and regulation, as well as cybersecurity, data privacy and security.

The SELF DRIVE Act clarifies the federal and state roles for regulating highly automated vehicles (HAVs) to encourage the testing, development and deployment of HAVs in the United States. It includes language from five bills introduced by Dingell that:

  • Create a Federal Advisory Committee within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with subcommittees to examine: mobility access for the disabled community, mobility access for senior citizens and populations underserved by public transportation, and cybersecurity.
  • Establish new exemptions for motor vehicle safety standards to make easier the development or field evaluation of highly automated vehicles

The legislation includes important safety provisions, including requiring the submission of safety assessment certifications by manufacturers of HAVs and requiring NHTSA to initiate a rulemaking to develop new HAV standards. The legislation also requires manufacturers to develop a written cybersecurity plan that includes vulnerability detection and response practices and a process for controlling access to automated driving systems.

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